A brief update from the throes of writing agony - which both is and isn't this year. As can be seen by my little sidebar widget, I'm definitely running behind at this point. I'm still within striking range - unless I get badly stuck, I should be able to pull it out - yet there's little doubt that I'm going to be writing long, hard hours every day between now and Nov. 1 if I'm going to pull the full 50,000 out of my hat.
On the good side though, the story is really running well now. I have a plot. I have decent characters. They're all hanging out and doing the things they're supposed to be doing. My prep level this year seems to have been just about right - enough pre-planning that I was rarely at a complete loss (thanks Bill and Leslie for the periodic brainstorming when things got clogged), but not so much that the characters felt constrained and wooden. It's even possible that I may finish this plot as part of the NaNo shot, which would be a first. Of my previous successful NaNo's my first -Ghost Dancer - is the only one that's complete at this point. My second is still stuck on the difficulty of a character who refuses to die, and my third, while it finally has an ending that I'm heading for, hasn't yet actually gotten there. Even Ghost Dancer was incomplete as a story at the end of NaNo; it didn't, in fact, acquire an ending for nearly four more years. Not until I started putting chapters up for my on-line writing group, and when I failed to put up new chapters, people would write me, write little ditties to post about me, or even contact my brother to tell him to tell me to get on the ball and write more, did I get down to business and finish out Ghost Dancer. So it feels a little weird to be 30,000 words in, and be fairly confident of where this book is going and how it's going to end. I may even wrap it up in the 50,000 words .
Which is not to say it will be a 50,000 word novel. As I've been speeding along, I'm discovering all sorts of side issues that will need to be retconned in once I hit the end (a little terraforming, anyone?). I'm estimating at least another 10-20,000 words just to put in the necessary additional information after I hit the end. We'll see when I get there - but it's feeling really good to actually feel like this is going to end in the first pass. A little less like writing the Neverending Story.